One Last Castlewood Cup Post

(for previous post, click here)

They finally posted my pictures from the race—nothing from the finish line (which is FINE) but plenty of me running across that darned creek.  I almost enjoyed it.  Almost.

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What I like about these pictures is that I am most definitely running.  Not in a graceful, gazelle-like manner, but…most definitely running.

My calves are still sore from that darned race.

Oh, and Happy Leap Year Day!  On my way home from rehearsal last night I heard a bit on the BBC World News during which they interviewed a woman who was a “leap year baby” and only has an official birthday every four years.  I thought that sounded really neat.  My mom was born in a leap year, but on February 24…she should have waited five days…she’d be so much younger ;)

Chocolate Covered Almonds

It’s that time of month again…"Foodie Pen Pals" time!  I didn’t participate in January, so February was my first month back.  I actually got paired with a dud this month.  I sent my stuff to the lovely Crissy from near Las Vegas, who doesn’t have a blog.  I didn’t receive anything from the person I was supposed to, but Lindsay took pity on me and sent something my way!

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All kinds of good stuff, including the blog-world-famous chia seeds, granola, almond butter, and in the plastic bag…chocolate covered almonds.  Those are gone.  WAY gone.

Thanks Lindsay!  I was thrilled to get this package!!

Wanna be part of foodie pen pals next month?  Here are the rules:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for March, please send  an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
-WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT. – this is SUPER important so you get on the right list!

You must submit your information by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!

***PLEASE NOTE: if you send an email, you WILL GET A RESPONSE within 48 hours. If you don”t….please re-send your email or contact Lindsay via Twitter (@LeanGrnBeanBlog). Last month we had a few emails get lost as spam so we’re trying to avoid that!

Castlewood Cup 15k

This past Saturday I ran the Castlewood Cup, a 15k trail race (that’s 9.3 miles to you Americans) through various trails in Castlewood State Park.  I have not done any training on trails other than a small race a few weeks ago, so I was not sure what I was in for, but I knew it would be a challenge.

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You get a nice hoodie sweatshirt…not really the sort of thing I wear…ever, but hey, maybe I will.  After all, I am proud of finishing this race!

The race started in four waves, one minute each apart.  Since I am so slow, I started in the fourth wave. 

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Though it was sunny, it was pretty cool, not freezing though.  I had a hard time deciding what to wear, and I shouldn’t have worn gloves, but I did.  I didn’t have any pictures taken of myself—I wore running tights, a long sleeve shirt, blue fleece jacket, earwarmer, and gloves.  I had the gloves off within a mile, but the rest I was happy for.

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Anyway, that’s everybody milling around the start (and finish—both where the flags are in the distance.).  We got started, and ran around this yard, then crossed the street into the woods and ran straight uphill.  By this point I knew I was towards the back of the pack, and I didn’t care.  I walked up most of the hills, because it is hard enough to run on gravel, dirt, and such without tripping over tree roots, much less doing that straight uphill.  The first hill was the worst though!  But the view from the top was great, and then we headed downhill.  I almost gave up then—there were some paths with super steep drop offs and at one point I almost let my fear of heights get the best of me.  (I have been known to sit/lie down if I freak out over heights.)

But I didn’t!  I kept going, albeit slowly, kept my eyes down (missing some fabulous views, but I really didn’t want to fall) and kept forging ahead.  Slow and steady…doesn’t win the race, but it finishes it.  So after the first downhill, then we ran flat for awhile, and then headed uphill again, but with more switchbacks.  Then around for a bit, then downhill…you get the point.  The whole course was in the park, mainly single track (meaning you had to let people pass generally, though we were pretty spread out and I ran most of the course alone), mainly dirt, but some rocks too, and lots of tree roots to notice. 

They had a couple water stations, and I had some gels too.  By Mile 5 I was dying—my feet were killing me, I was tired, and hungry, and having trouble lifting up my feet to not trip.  I almost fell several times, but I figured out I needed to loosen my shoes, and walking wasn’t any less painful than running, though less scary at times.  By Mile 8 I was absolutely dead…my legs were dead and I was just tired.  We ran through a creek, so for the next 1/2 mile my feet felt really wet (they stayed wet, but felt drier after a bit) and finally I was almost done.  The worst part was running back around the field we started with.  It felt much farther at the end!

Finally I crossed the finish line!  And then as I was getting some water (set up WONDERFULLY right by the finish, thank you) the official race photographer asked if I would cross the finish line again, that he had missed that photo.  I must have given him a crazy look, because he suggested that instead he could simply take a picture of me right there.  I don’t know what happened though, the picture isn’t online.  It’s possible my bib number wasn’t showing—I can’t recall. 

Anyway…after I finished I was completely and utterly exhausted, and wanted to get some of the post race goodies, but I realized I didn’t feel like it and just wanted to get home and shower.  So I had some water, took my muddy shoes off, stopped at a gas station for a G2 (I must have been the sight in running tights, flip flops, and a sweaty tech shirt!), and drove home.  No shower has ever felt as good as that shower.

And yes, of course I’d love to run the race again next year.  Pain?  What pain?

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My two biggest fears for the race were 1) getting lost and 2) finishing last.  Luckily I did neither of those things, though I was the closest to finishing last as I have been for any race.  And I am fine with that :)  (I did have my phone with me, I figured if I got lost worst case I could call for help or directions.)

Saturday night fever

I’m sitting here listening to the radio:  SLSO plays Brahms Symphony no. 4.  This morning I ran the Castlewood Cup 15k, it was really hard.  And I almost completely lost…I was in the bottom 10 people.  But I finished and I didn’t fall, and I need to run more trails because it was so fun and challenging.  Full recap to follow when I am less tired.

I just wanted to share a few pictures that have made me giggle or laugh out loud recently.  I hope they brighten your Saturday night if you are at home.  Or even if you aren’t.

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This makes me sad…poor kitty.

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Totally works!!

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday.  Happy Birthday! I believe this calls for some pictures, right?

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My parents walking in to, oh right, my wedding.  Don’t they look dapper?

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There they are, applauding…something…

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My Aunt Connie (Mom’s sister), Mom, Dad, Uncle Ed (Mom’s brother) and Aunt Twila (Ed’s wife)

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My whole immediate family.  Jesse (brother), Mom, Dad, Me, Chris, Leslie (sister), and Carrie (sister).  The fruits of my parents labor… evidently not everybody had the same memo on whether we were smiling or looking serious…

Hope you have a wonderful day, Mom!

Totally unrelated, but I wanted to share.  Have you seen this wonderful picture?

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Stranger Danger?

Today was a gorgeous day!  I went running in the park, as I like to do. 

I was finishing up my run, and I passed a man walking across the grass and then across my path.  He was holding a passport and a phone, and he looked confused.  I almost stopped, but then I kept going a bit.  I turned around, and he waved me down.  Normally I don’t stop for people, but I was now at a corner with lots of cars going by so I figured I was safe enough. 

He asked if I knew where the nearest library was.  He explained that he had dual citizenship and his visa was expiring (or had expired) and he needed to find an embassy.  Frankly it was all sort of confusing, plus I was finishing up a run, so my brain wasn’t fully working.  I pointed him towards the direction I was pretty sure a library was (embarrassingly I wasn’t sure but I recalled driving by one within 6 to 8 blocks.) He persisted, asking, was that the "carpenter" branch he was finding on his cell phone.  I told him I just didn’t know, but I was sure there was a library that way.  Then he said he had been lost, and was walking through the park, and some man came up to him and asked was he looking for a date, and he thought the man had exposed himself. 

So…I said, huh, I’ve heard of that happening.  And I asked, what did he look like?  (At this point, my brain is saying, what?? why is a stranger telling me this?)  He said he was in a Nissan.  At which point, I thought, why is he telling me this?  He might just be freaked out…or perhaps he’s leading in a direction I don’t want to go, like, maybe he was planning to expose HIMSELF or maybe he was just going to ask for a date, or for who knows.  So I said, I have to be on my way, and I left.

What do you think?  I found the whole situation really strange and odd.  I wouldn’t have stopped at all except he did look lost plus I was bigger and near a busy street corner (busy with both cars and pedestrians, I might add.)  Has anything weird like that happened to you? 

Also…here’s the forecast for tomorrow.  What happened??  Scattered flurries???

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